Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Persisting with Picfair:

The Sinceros -my most viewed image on Picfair
When I first posted about British photo agency Picfair back in November 2013 I was certainly full of hope for this new venture and even more so when I got my first sale just a couple of weeks later. So, time for an update.

Well, first the headline fact, I have yet to have had my second sale there despite my portfolio now numbering some 870 images. Am I giving up on them? Not at this stage and here is why.

Founded by former journalist Benji Lanyado in 2013 the site has gradually grown -both in the number of images available and the team itself. Very much a one man band at the start Picfair now has a number of people on its team which you can see on the "About" section of their site. Originally launched in Beta the site is now fully functioning as an image selling agency and received a substantial boost of investment last Summer (read about that here ). Ignore the "taking on Getty" headline -I'm pretty sure that they are not actually claiming that!

So what's great about Picfair? Well the two big attractions to me are firstly that there are no reviews to go through. You get the images online and for sale that you want, not filtered through somebody elses opinion or taste. Just like having your own photo selling site in fact. Secondly, and most importantly, you get to choose your own selling price and receive 100% of that amount (Picfair make their money by adding a percentage on top to the buyer -currently 20%).

This choose your own price feature does has its own set of issues, however. Firstly, some great photographers are setting their prices really low. I have seen some stunning images being offered at little above the minimum allowed pricing of £1. This doesn't make it easy for those of us trying to get a reasonable fee for our images. Which leads to the second (big) issue -just what should you price your images at? All mine are at a standard £10 per image. Now for a small use on a blog that's a high price compared to purchasing from a Micro site. However, the standard Picfair license doesn't offer any variations so that £10 image could just as easily be used on the front page of a National newspaper.

Ideally, I'd like to experiment with different price points to see if that makes a difference to sales, however what Picfair currently lacks is a global price change facility (unlike FineArtAmerica where you can reset your entire portfolio pricing with one click). You can, of course, edit your pricing image by image but there is no way I am doing that 870 times! I could try just changing the pricing on some images but I am really loathe to set up a two tier system suggesting that "these are my best ones at £10 and this is a bit rubbish at £2".

So, for now I am persisting with Picfair. It is still fairly early days for them as a business and I see no reason why the site will not gradually attract more buyers -especially given the fantastic quality of many of the images being submitted. The batch upload is quick and efficient (and they now offer FTP on request to those that want that -I don't) so they do not represent a big demand on my time to keep uploading. Hopefully, I'll have some sales news to report in the not too distant future. Regards, David. EDIT: Click on the comments below for a response from Picfair :)

Pro's: Choose your own pricing/No reviews/Prospects for growth
Con's: No global price change/ Uploading no longer works on IE9 (a minor gripe and maybe just me)


Benji Lanyado said...

Hey David, Benji here! Big thanks for your post ... I'm glad you're enjoying Picfair.

To address the issue about bulk editing ... we're working on it now actually! Should be out within the next 6 weeks. We're actually working on a lot of new features on the site (while keeping things simple) - including bulk editing, bulk buying, a second license, and changes to our search algorithm. We're also going to do as much as possible to help photographers price their images wisely, although our policy is to never choose prices on your behalf.

We're still a very young company, but are growing very quickly - working hard on building an excellent product to serve an excellent library built by excellent photographers like you! We're close ... and will soon start focussing our efforts more squarely on marketing. Expect your sales to increase!

Thanks again for the post and your images. Keep up the good work.

All the very best, and I hope you are enjoying the weather.


David Fowler said...

Many thanks for your comment Benji.
Great to hear about the new features coming and plans for more marketing!
Your comment about being a young and growing company echo my thoughts and my post. Picfair represents such an attractive proposition to photographers that it is one that I very much want to continue to support into the future. Keep up the good work yourselves! Regards, David.

Arletta Cwalina said...

Hi Benji, whatever you did, it was good work - sales increased nicely lately, thank you!
You said bulk edit should be ready in 6 weeks... that means June. I couldn't find the option on Picfair yet (Sept.) but I hope all the plan is going fine? And as you already know, many authors are still waiting to change the vertical huge size of images so we could upload more work safely... Any plans to do it finally? :)

Summing up - Picfair is very nice, fair treating site, easy to use and with beautiful images in galleries! And yes, that's true that many photographers set their pricing extremly low and it doesn't look to professional, but I noticed changes in this area lately, good :)
Picfair is new but (as said above) this year sales are jumping one by one - can you imagine the results in next months and years! Can't wait to see how things will blow up and I'm happy to support so successful and nice site :)

Oh, FTP processing takes more time before image show up than standard upload with using site uploader... Files (about 100) uploaded yeastarday still not showing up today. So if someone wants to upload 1000 files FTP is good option, but for 100 files you better work on the site only.

Best regards and many satisfying sales to you people! :)

David Fowler said...

Hi Arletta, thank you for your positive comments :) Like you I'm still waiting for that global price change facility -I would really like to see if there is a price point which boosts sales. That said, I am pleased to say that I had my second £10 sale just last week (to a design company working on a project for a client). Kind regards, David.